Should I Go to Medical School?
March 7, 2013
Why do you want to go to medical school?
Is medical school right for you? Do you want to become a doctor? Is becoming a physician your road to “the good life?”
If you’re on a pre-med path through college, these are questions you’ve probably heard before We know how big of a responsibility making these decisions can be. Like most pre-med students, you probably have a response ready: my dad/mom was a doctor; I want to help people; I love science; I have always wanted to be a doctor.
With a unique spin on that common question, a blog post on kevinmd.com listed 5 reasons why you shouldn’t go to medical school. It’s not as discouraging as it sounds; author Brian J. Secemsky, MD, is merely reflecting on the current realities of embarking on a career in medicine.
Another way to approach this list is to turn it into reasons that you SHOULD go to medical school. You should go to medical school if:
- You have a constant thirst for knowledge.
- You’re capable of meeting challenges like sifting through bureaucracy and troubleshooting solutions when treatments aren’t effective.
- You‘re a people person—both with colleagues and patients.
- You’re fascinated by the human body, diseases , and their treatments.
- You’re able to make sacrifices in the other areas of your life—at least temporarily.
Not only are these traits that I would personally like to exhibit as a physician, but they are also traits that I would like my physician to exhibit.
The point that really sticks with me is the piece about temporarily sacrificing other aspects of your life. By the time you are applying to medical school, you have already had some experience with putting your friends and family on hold. You have spent long nights and weekends studying for the MCAT or some overly intense undergraduate class. I can’t even count the number of times I have had to apologize for not being able to make time for an event due to studying, physician shadowing, volunteering, or just trying to be the superwoman that a med school applicant needs to be.
Now that I have completed my degree and been accepted to medical school, I am soaking up all the time I can with friends and family before I crawl back under my rock.
For future physicians, it must truly be our passion that keeps us motivated on our path to medical school. It’s what makes the short-term sacrifices worth the end result of becoming a doctor and living our version of “the good life.”
Are there any things you have had to give up during your pre-med career? What do you anticipate having to sacrifice during medical school? Tell us in the comments.
“Dedicate your life to a cause greater than yourself, and your life will become a glorious romance and adventure.”
– Mack Douglas
We want to hear from you! Tell us what the good life means to you in the comments section, on Facebook, and on Twitter, using #kaplangoodlife. We may share your story in an upcoming post. Stay tuned for more personal stories and get inspired by others’ achievements so you can better achieve your own.
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Emily has been a teacher for Kaplan for over six years; she's taught MCAT, ACT, SAT, SAT2 and tutored pretty much every subject under the sun in both the classroom and live online (aka Classroom Anywhere) settings. She's also worked for Kaplan in content development and teacher mentorship roles. Emily is currently a second-year medical student at the University of Colorado and is hoping to go into Pediatrics. She's involved in many campus opportunities such as being a Prospective Student Representative, admissions committee member, CU-UNITE member, and co-president of the Education and Teaching Interest Group. Prior to medical school, Emily got a BA in Biochemistry and Spanish from Lawrence University and a Masters in Public Health- Epidemiology from the University of Minnesota. In her free time, Emily enjoys dancing, baking, playing tennis and exploring her new Colorado home.